Do Second Amendment Sanctuaries Predate The Second Amendment Itself?

Was America’s first “Second Amendment Sanctuary” around before the Bill of Rights (and even the Declaration of Independence) was written? Attorney Stephen Halbrook makes a pretty good case that before the American Revolution ever began, Virginians were already standing up for their right to keep and bear arms against government encroachment.


Writing at the Independent Institute, Halbrook tells the story of what happened in 1774, when Virginia’s royal governor, Lord Dunmore, attempted to seize the powder and arms stored in the Williamsburg arsenal.

None other than George Washington formed the Fairfax Independent Militia Company. “Threat’ned with the Destruction of our Civil-rights, & Liberty,” wrote George Mason, the volunteers pledged that “we will, each of us, constantly keep by us” a musket, six pounds of gunpowder, and 20 pounds of lead.

That was a lot of ammo. There’s a parallel here to the “large capacity” magazines that Northam wants to ban. And there’s an irony that Fairfax County is now the center of the blue wave that supports Dunmoresque gun bans.

Halbrook joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to delve into the long history of Americans defending the rights protected by the Second Amendment, even before the Second Amendment or American independence were ever imagined. As Halbrook notes, there are some big differences between 1774 and 2020, however there are also some fundamental similarities in the fight for our civil rights.

Counties that have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries make clear their dedication to use all lawful means to protect their constitutional rights. Law-enforcement authorities have scarce resources and must choose how to allocate them. Work to solve murders and robberies, or track down gun owners because they have rifles with those oh-so-deadly pistol grips or adjustable stocks? That’s a no-brainer.

But those who support filling the prisons with law-abiding citizens just because they have, for instance, a rifle that will also shoot flares—which is nothing more than a distress signal—should remember our history. The Second Amendment was adopted to prevent exactly those kinds of infringements.


Be sure to check out the entire interview above. In addition to talking history, Halbrook and I also talk about something that has yet to occur but is likely in 2020: a court challenge to any new gun bans in the state of Virginia.

Also on today’s program, we’ve got an armed citizen story from Alabama, a pair of Virginia criminals who should have been behind bars but were instead on the streets to commit a robbery and the murder of a delivery driver, and a North Carolina police officer in the right place at the right time to save a woman from a collision with a train.

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